Monday, June 17, 2024
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New markets to support projected growth

Fiji’s economy is projected to grow by 6.3 per cent in 2023 and moderate to 3 per cent in 2024, according to an economic report released by the Asian Development Bank.

The ADB’s Regional Director Aaron Batten says Fiji’s tourism industry led a strong recovery in Fiji in 2022, boosted by visitors who stayed longer and spent more.

Batten said tourism will continue as the main driver of growth for Fiji in 2023, building on its success against intense competition from other regional tourist destinations, such as Indonesia and Thailand.

He said Fiji’s outlook is boosted by plans to increase arrivals from North America, with the national airline aiming to expand direct flights to Japan and Hong Kong, China are also resuming this month.

“To maintain growth momentum and encourage diversification, Fiji will need to put in place proactive labour market policies to address rising shortages of semi-skilled and skilled workers.”

“Increased emigration is helping boost remittance to record levels and provide an economic safety net to many Fijians. However, the private sector is reporting rising difficulties in attracting sufficiently qualified staff to fill their business needs,” Batten added.

ADB highlighted in order to address these challenges; Fiji will need to enhance its focus on training and skills development, job matching programs and initiatives to boost labour force participation rates.

The report says the positive effects of government spending, as well as the boost in tourism and remittances, spilled over into transport and wholesale and retail trade. Credit from commercial banks also increased as confidence in the economy strengthened.

Lower inflation is expected in 2023 at 4.2 per cent and in 2024 at 3.5 per cent, in line with easing global commodity prices.

“ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty,” the report said.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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